+ One good turn leads to another …
Suzanne and Hank Foster co-chaired the Sarasota Opera Opening Night Gala for two consecutive years. This season they masterminded the logistical tour de force of starting with a performance at the Opera House and wrapping up with a grand gala at the Ritz-Carlton, moving attendees (and their cars!) seamlessly from one venue to the other. PNC Wealth Management sponsored a dinner in their honor March 21, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The PNC gang was out in force including two Scotts — Collins and Merritt — Nancy Masterson, Sheena Robinson and boss Matthew Bower.
La vie en rose … The grand finale of the YMCA Foundation’s VIP Dinner Series was the Cabaret dinner hosted by Flori Roberts March 28, at Maison Blanche on Longboat Key. Everything was très Francais (and très gai), from the menu to the guests’ apparel, to the accordéoniste, to Flori’s rendition of the song made famous by Piaf.
+ Teacher, Teacher
Merrill Wynne, an owner of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP, in Atlanta, the country’s 14th-largest independent accounting firm, is teaching budgeting and finance at Girls Inc. His students are not only girls from second to fifth grades, but also their parents. The classes are part of the organization’s “Microsociety” program, which teaches real world skills. Strong, smart, bold — and financially savvy!
Things to do … Donate your new or gently used handbags for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s “Handbags and Happy Hour.” Drop them off at Saks Fifth Avenue before the end of April and receive 15% off your purchase that day … Can’t get to Westminster Abbey? The Ritz-Carlton is offering a guest room for the night of April 28, including royal wedding cocktails for two, a butler-served breakfast in bed as you watch the wedding and more for $299. For reservations, call 309-2000 … A one-woman Rep company … actress Carolyn Michel is playing five characters in her one-woman show, “Family Secrets,” at Florida Studio Theatre April 19 through May 1 and simultaneously playing a psychic in “Death Trap,” running at the Asolo through May 14. Whew! … A long, successful run … It lasted 28 years and raised approximately $10 million to benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities. Now Wendy Mann Resnick is retiring as executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Sarasota/Manatee, Inc. as of June 1. Resnick created and produced one smash event after another, including a telethon that ran for 18 years. An amazing performance by a brilliant and loving woman.
+ Black Tie Affair
Florida Winefest Winemaker Dinners
Benefiting children’s charities • 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at various venues • Tickets $125 to $150 per person • Reservations 952-1109
This year’s 21st annual Florida Winefest is once again featuring a phenomenal line-up of small, producing boutique wineries from California, South Africa, Argentina, Spain and Virginia at an array of events April 28 to May 1. The most intimate are the winemaker dinners. Reservations are still available for the following, but make yours soon; most of these dinner sell out entirely.
• 15 South Ristorante featuring Vino D’Angelo, Amizetta Estate Winery and Thomas Michael Cellars
• Cafe Zest! featuring Terroir Wine Cellars/Palarea direct from Spain
• Innovative Dining — Chef Jeremy Hammond-Chambers featuring Cimarossa
• Libby’s Café + Bar featuring MadoroM Vineyards and Sugarleaf Vineyards
• Mattison’s Forty-One featuring Oudinot Champagne and White Rock Vineyards
• McKissock Residence featuring Chase Cellars and Somerston Wine Co.
• Michael’s On East featuring Post House Wines
• Pattigeorge’s featuring Shypoke Cellars and Thumbprint Cellars
• Salute! Ristorante featuring Casali di Bibbiano (Italy)
• Sarasota Yacht Club featuring Schweiger Vineyards and Familia Marguery (Argentina)
• The Oaks Club (Osprey) featuring Red Mare Wines and Ziata Napa Valley
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29 EXPERIENCE THE SARASOTA OPERA
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
29 Masterworks Series: Enigma
30 Start an Artists Sketchbook/Journal
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
30 The Jazz Club of Sarasota Presents "Jazz at Two" with Kevin Celebi and Harmonic Sanity
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Gauls celebrate sweet 60
On Jan. 29, Jack and Joan Gaul will celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Dora Walters goes by the book for readers
You saw her byline countless times during her 26 years at the Longboat Observer, but now, retired Senior Editor Dora Walters’ byline appears on her new book, “Rewind…Playback: A Collection of Life’s ‘Little’ Memories.”
Encore opening celebration
Members of the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce gathered for a ribbon-cutting event Jan. 20, at Amore by Andrea.